By Carly DeFilippo

 

Here at ICE, we’re thrilled to have a long-standing relationship with Dessert Professional, a revolutionary magazine that, as Hall of Fame inductee Florian Belanger explained, was one of the first publications connecting professional pastry chefs with peers in their field.

Florian Belanger laughs with alum and MC Zac Young, during his induction into the Dessert Professional Hall of Fame.

Florian Belanger laughs with alum and MC Zac Young, during his induction into the Dessert Professional Hall of Fame.

One of our favorite parts of this friendship is the opportunity to host the magazine’s annual Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America awards ceremony and reception. 2013 marks the 20th year of the awards, and both the outstanding desserts and star-studded festivities raised the bar for the occasion.

A layered pistachio and raspberry cake, meticulously prepared for the after party.

A layered pistachio and raspberry cake, meticulously prepared for the after party.

Alum Clarisa Martinez was among the Top Ten Pastry Chefs selected for this years awards.

Alum Clarisa Martino was among the Top Ten Pastry Chefs selected for this years awards.

We were especially proud, this year, to have a number of alumni featured in the ceremony. First and foremost, Clarisa Martino, Executive Pastry Chef at Mesa Grill, was among the Top Ten to receive an engraved KitchenAid stand mixer bowl, commemorating her achievements in the field.

Pastry alum Zac Young, who joked that he is eager to receive his award next year, was the MC for the evening – and many remarked that if pastry ever falls through, he’ll have a career in stand-up comedy. Last but not least, Jessica Perkiss, Sous Chef at Gramercy Tavern, helped winner Nancy Olson prepare her renowned peanut butter semifreddo.

Alum Jessica Perkiss with Chef Nancy Olson of Gramercy Tavern

Alum Jessica Perkiss with Chef Nancy Olson of Gramercy Tavern

But alums weren’t the only ones to get in on the fun. A number of ICE staff and instructors, including the founder of our baking program, Nick Malgieri, and current Creative Director, Michael Laiskonis, mingled with their industry colleagues. And students volunteers rolled up their sleeves with the award-winning chefs, helping to plate and prepare their innovative desserts.

Creative Director Michael Laiskonis catches up with Chef Johnny Iuzzini. Alum Zac Young poses with founder of the ICE baking program, Nick Malgieri.

Creative Director Michael Laiskonis catches up with Chef Johnny Iuzzini. Alum Zac Young poses with founder of the ICE baking program, Nick Malgieri.

ICE students help winner Bill Corbett plate his vegan German chocolate cake.

ICE students help winner Bill Corbett plate his vegan German chocolate cake.

All in all, it was a sugar rush to remember, and we look forward to seeing what the next twenty years hold for the field of pastry and baking.

Jacques Torres, Michael Laiskonis, Madame Chocolat, Francois Payard and ICE President, Rick Smilow

ICE President, Rick Smilow, with Pastry Royalty: Jacques Torres, Michael Laiskonis and Francois Payard

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